In the Fall ’97 issue of SFJ you printed an article on the Cheval de Merens, the all black horse of the French Pyrenees. I was immediately obsessed by their beautiful stature, a very strong draft-type-looking horse with powerful legs and long flowing manes and tails. The article sent me running for maps to locate France and the Ariege Valley, the central location for the Merens. After making contact with the writer of the article and being told of the major Merens horse show in August, plane reservations were made.
Conserving rare livestock breeds is a challenging venture, and conservation of some of the rarest breeds can be a costly undertaking. Most people who keep rare breeds must balance breed conservation with the need to make a profit. David and Jennifer Ozborn, along with their three sons have an eighty acre farm in Brandon, Mississippi where they work to maintain herds of four rare livestock breeds that are native to the Southeast. Over seven years they have had excellent success in conserving these rare breeds while at the same time keeping their farm in the financial black.